Use Pricing For RF, Microstock

Posted on 6/30/2008 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

One of the biggest hurdles traditional RF and Microstock sellers face when confronted with the idea of switching from an RF pricing structure to a use-based one is how to explain such a switch to customers who've been told one price fits all and not to worry about usage.

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Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


  • Don Farrall Posted Jul 1, 2008
    The problem with licensing models is policing the use. People are not inherently honest, they are inherently cheap. And I take exception with the statement "most buyers have relatively small and very specific intended uses". Maybe most microstock users, but not traditional stock users. From an ad agency standpoint usage often migrates across many end uses that were not initially anticipated. These buyers don't like having to go back and pay more, and many don't, and in many cases this happens with out malicious intent, the images just gets passed around. This is the appeal of RF, once they have it in their system they can use it as much or as little as they want. I too would like to see higher prices being paid for the use of microstock when the application warrants it. I am not sure what the answer is, but at the moment the pendulum is in favor of the masses and I agree with the statement "In effect, the small users end up subsidizing the large commercial customers, and over time, this strategy will limit the variety of imagery available to everyone." this is already happening.

    Don Farrall

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